In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of a sacral neuromodulation (SNM) device to treat overactive bladder (OAB) unresponsive to medications. They found that SNM improved OAB symptoms.
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition, especially in the older population. Patients with OAB have a greater urge to urinate. They may also have trouble controlling urination (incontinence). OAB can lead to poor quality of life.
There are a number of treatment options for OAB. Medications are one option. Another option involves sacral neuromodulation (SNM). It involves placing a device under the skin of the lower back. The SNM device blocks a signal from the sacral nerve to the bladder muscle. The end result is a reduction in the urge to urinate. The BetterStim SNM system is a new type of SNM device. The safety and effectiveness of this SNM device in patients with OAB who do not respond to medications is still under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study included 84 patients with OAB. Patients were randomly assigned to either a treatment or a control group. All patients had an SNM device impanted. In the treatment group, the device was switched on immediately. In the control group, the device was switched on 3 months after implantation. Only control patients were allowed to take their OAB medication during the first 3 months. Patients underwent follow-up at 1, 3 and 6 months.
After the first 3 months, patients in the treatment group had a greater improvement in symptoms compared to the control group (72% vs. 12%). After this follow-up appointment, control patients had their devices switched on. At 6 months all patients had an improvement in OAB symptoms. There was no difference between the two groups at 6 months.
The rate of side effects was 12.86%. These were related to the device. They included pain at the site of implantation or a lack of effectiveness. Lack of effectiveness was resolved after device reprogramming.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that SNM improved OAB symptoms in unresponsive patients.
The fine print
This was a short-term study. Longer studies are needed to determine if the device is safe and effective.
If you have any concerns regarding OAB treatment, please consult with your physician.
Published By :
World Journal of Urology
Feb 26, 2019
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